From the beginning a curator was somewhere between priest and bureaucrat, combining the practical with the otherworldly. Either way curators had access to and mastery over difficult concealed knowledge.*
Did you suppose there could be only one Supreme? We affirm there can be unnumbered Supremes, and that one does not counterfeit another … and that men can be good or grand only of their supremacy within them.**
Michael Bhaskar’s title Curation caught my attention because I’m fascinated by how people and things can be arranged in a multiplicity of ways, not in some manipulating way but making our world the wonderful place it should be, beyond the mindset of scarcity.
Curators take care of things, caring and nurturing, and making things work politically.
Add Edward Deci’s remark about creating the right conditions for one another to create and life gets a lot more interesting:
‘The proper question in not, “how can people motivate others?” but rather, “how can people create the conditions within which others will motivate themselves?“‘^
In 2007, curators Hans Ulrich Obrist and Stéphanie Moisdon were responsible for the Lyon Biennial art show and went about it somewhat differently. They involved a whole lot more people, Bhaskar describing it this way:
‘So effectively what you had is […] curators curating curators curating. And then given that they all made artists and critics curators, the whole category of curator had been blown wide open. Everyone was a curator.’*
So it’s been done.
I wonder what might happen if this mindset spilt out beyond the walls of galleries and biennials, that we saw the possibility of helping one another to find the kind of spaces in which each is able to organise the things they love doing with a freedom of creation for a purpose bigger than themselves.
Some say it isn’t possible.
Others might say, it’s neither been attempted nor explored.